Editorial: 'Tears show our sorrow over cruel fate of poor Ana'
Even in the depths of a murder trial which has taken us to places we would prefer not even to imagine, the smile of Ana Kriegel endured.
The circumstances of her murder are too horrible to contemplate, and yet they occurred, and we as a society have to accept the schoolgirl was murdered by two children.
Nothing is as easy to denounce as those who commit murder, but nothing is as difficult to understand.
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Ana was a teenager with a bright life ahead of her, so her senseless loss must be remembered and understood.
They say no footprint should be too small to leave an imprint on this world.
When her doorbell rang on a sunny evening at 4.55pm last May, her heart would have leapt.
For the trial was told she had once been badly bullied and had craved friendship, as teenagers always have done.
The prospect of going out to meet a boy who was interested in her would have been exciting.
The traumatic events which followed challenge all we cherish.
When her devoted dad, Patric, saw his daughter leave home, he could never have expected it would be the last time he would see her alive.
Three days would pass before her body would be found.
The agony Ana's mother Geraldine, and Patric endured throughout that period had to have been excruciating.
It is to be hoped perhaps, a long time from now, their broken hearts can be sealed by their memories of their beautiful daughter.
There is something deeply confusing about murder, especially when it is carried out by children.
It violates the natural order of things and forces us to confront realities we would surely wish away.
There is no simple way to make sense of this deeply distressing story.
All shadows are cast by things and people; sometimes those people can be children.
How and why this should be so is something we must eventually come to terms with.
When Ana was adopted in 2006 by Geraldine and Patric and brought to Ireland aged two, they would have thought all their dreams had come true at once.
That their daughter would be bullied and then have her life ended so brutally seems monstrously cruel and unjust.
According to Paulo Coelho: "Tears are words that need to be written," sometimes there is no other way to express unspeakable sorrow.
He may be right, but Ana Kriegel deserves more than our tears.
Yet they now may be the only natural way to show our sorrow for the little girl who came to us all the way from Novokuznetsk.